We had a board meeting for the Sacred Heart Center in Eagle Butte. The adolescent program can serve up to 18 Native American youth, ages 11-19, and for the past seven months it has been running over 90% capacity. The program underwent changes and revamping, and the different social service agencies are pleased with what is happening in terms of service plans and reintegration of young people into the community, so placements are up. Unlike St. Joseph’s Indian School, which doesn’t receive tuition or service income from student placements, the Sacred Heart Center does receive per diem monies, and with a full house comes better financial stability for the program. But the best news was the positive reports about the kind of care these youth have been getting.
Another bright spot came from the staff member in charge of community outreach. She herself was a client in the women’s shelter several years ago, seeking escape from her own difficult situation of domestic violence. She is now an advocate for those going through similar struggles, and in great demand to speak to school and community groups.
While there is heart wrenching problems on the Indian reservations, there are a lot of good people striving to make things better.